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Battelle NEON STEM Grant Program

In 2016, Battelle began operating the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The NEON program is a ground-breaking ecological observatory that provides open, standardized data from across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The comprehensive data, spatial extent and remote sensing technology provided by NEON will enable a large and diverse user community to tackle new questions at scales not accessible to previous generations. The data is available to educators to use with their students to address topics from changing climates and ecological disturbances to vector/disease transmission and species distributions. All data is open and accessible online.

In keeping with our strategic emphasis on innovative, interdisciplinary learning and its history of charitable giving, Battelle created a new initiative to support STEM education programs focused on NEON data.

The Battelle NEON STEM Grant Program challenged educators across the United States to pilot the development or expansion of sustainable, scalable, K-12 STEM education programming that specifically utilizes NEON data and/or resources.

Educators will use NEON data to provide K-12 students a high-quality, real-world data set for topics ranging from changing climates to how land-use impacts animal population movements and much more.

On January 15, 2020, Battelle announced the following five projects were funded (press release):

  • Teaching Change NEON: A place-based immersive STEM program to connect Hawaii’s youth with NEON open source data by the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests, Hawaii: The program will begin a year-long Advanced Placement science program that uses NEON data to address a globally significant question. The program will be implemented at Hilo High School and integrates two intensive field courses at the Pu’u Maka’ala NEON site.
  • Show and Tell by Ashburnham Westminster Regional Schools, Massachusetts: This program seeks to get students excited about science through authentic research. Fourth- and fifth-grade students will collect, analyze, and share NEON-like data to answer the question: “Is the growing season changing?”
  • Puerto Rico NEON Data Jam by Forward Research, Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rico NEON DATA JAM Project will develop student STEM competencies through the analysis of scientific data provided by NEON during a one-week summer program. Sixty students in under-represented communities and six teachers will investigate real community problems using NEON data.
  • Environmental Education Programming 2020 by the North Lakeland Discovery Center, Wisconsin: The proposed project will incorporate NEON’s data from regional studies on terrestrial nesting bird populations and small mammal populations into the Discovery Center’s existing K-12 education programs. The objective is to improve data literacy, encourage critical thinking and use of the scientific method, increase students’ awareness and understanding of wildlife ecology, and inspire students to make connections between their lives and the natural world.
  • Bringing NEON Data to Teachers in Title 1 Classrooms by Science Buddies, nationwide: This program will develop lesson plans aligned to national standards for teachers of grades 6-8 that will use NEON data related to mosquito populations. Students will investigate the impact of climate change (on mosquitoes) and the implications for disease. Lesson plans will be published and available to teachers.

Organizations interested in applying for future funding should sign-up here.

Proposal Resources:


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